Cheap Travel Hacks

Flight Reviews

Travelling by air can add to the thrill of adventuring off to a new destination, but not all flight experiences are pleasurable. Sometimes it’s good to know what you are in for before stepping aboard.

I have compiled a list of the airlines that I have personally travelled on to give my own first-hand flight reviews, both good and bad, to give you an insight of what to potentially expect.

*Please note that all reviews here are based on travel in economy class.

 

AIR CANADA REVIEW                               

Being from Canada myself, Air Canada is our largest and flagship airline.  Founded in 1937, Air Canada flys to over 81 international and 21 domestic destinations with its fleet of 168 aircraft.

I have personally flown with Air Canada the most out of any airline, both on long haul and short domestic flights.  But sadly, my experience with this airline has been less than stellar.

 

MEALS

Regardless if you are flying a short little hour flight, or from Newfoundland to Britsh Columbia, you are not offered any complimentary meals on domestic flights.  All meals and snacks are available to be purchased.

However, you are offered water, coffee/tea and juice at no cost.

DELAYS AND BROKEN PLANES

Almost every time that I fly with Air Canada, there is a delay due to mechanical issues.  One time, I had to wait for another plane to come in so we could take that plane, rather than the one we were supposed to fly on.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather have delays than have the airline take the risk of flying a faulty plane, but it just seems that there are a lot of issues their fleets of aircraft.

PRICE

Maybe it’s because they are the main airline of Canada and considering what little you get on your flights, they are pretty expensive to fly on compared to other airlines.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Not everything that I have to say about Air Canada is bad.  In fact, the flight attendants were excellent and the flight experience was superb.  The in-flight entertainment had a large selection of movies to choice from (on flights large enough to have screens) which made my travel experience with them delightful.

 

SUNWING REVIEWS

Another Canadian-based company, Sunwing is Canada’s low-cost budget airline which services over 73 destinations with its fleet of only 18 aircraft.

Partnered with travel booking giants Signature Vacations and Selloffvations, Sunwing primarily flies to the U.S., Caribbean, Central and South America, as well as domestically around Canada.

I have flown on Sunwing a few times on my trips to the Caribbean, and it was an all-around pretty good experience.

MEALS

I personally loved the food on Sunwing airlines.  I’m not a picky eater, but I do know the difference between bland airplane food and moderately more tasty food.  I really enjoyed how they offered smoked meat sandwiches rather than the usual alfredo pasta and beef with potato options which most airlines offer in economy class.

Beverages were offered with the meals and afterwards and you were offered a complimentary glass of champagne.  Alcoholic beverages are available for purchase by either cash or credit card.

DELAYS AND BROKEN PLANES

So far, my experience with Sunwing has been 50/50 for delays and being on schedule.  I once waited in a Cuban airport for 6 hours waiting for our plane to be “ready to board”, without any notification that it was delayed or any reason why it was delayed.  It was even listed on the Pearson International Airport “Arrivals” list as being on time.  Good thing we were able to call the people who were planning on picking us up at the airport to let them know we would be late.

However, Sunwing does offer you a $50 gift certificate towards future travel with then when you put in a complaint about delays.

PRICE

Since Sunwing is partnered with different travel booking sites, I have never actually just booked a flight with them to go somewhere – it was always been apart of an all-inclusive trip which included airfare and hotel.

With that being said, I can’t imagine that they are a pricy airline since I have never paid more than $1400 for an all-inclusive package and that was travelling to a higher end island – St. Maarten.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

I’ve never had any complaints with the service on my flights with Sunwing.  The entertainment has always been great with up-to-date movies either on the back on the seat or a shared screen, depending on the size and age of the plane.

A side from the occasional lengthy delay, I have always thoroughly enjoyed traveling on Sunwing and have a pretty good experience.

WESTJET REVIEWS

Starting off as another budget airline only 20 years ago, Westjet has become the second largest Canadian airline flying more than 425 flights per day to 91 destinations with it’s fleet of 118 air crafts.

I have only personally flown with Westjet a few times on short flights, so my reviews are limited to my two good experiences, along with what I’ve heard from booking flights for others.

 

COST

Westjet is usually the go-to airline when booking a domestic flight around Canada or into the U.S. Their prices are pretty decent and they travel to most destinations within North America.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

I found the flight attendants to be very friendly and they offered a variety of snacks and beverages for purchase (again, I have only flown short 1.5 hour flights with them).  The movie selection was amazing and the seats were cozy leather seats.

 

AIR TRANSAT REVIEWS

Operating as another Canadian vacation-destination airline, Air Transat flies to 83 destinations around the U.S., Caribbean, Mexico, central America and certain places in Europe.

Being another partnered airline with travel booking sites, I’ve flown with Air transat mostly to the Caribbean and I have yet to have a bad experiences or delays with this airline.

 

COST

I have only flown with Air Transat as a charter airline, and have not booked a scheduled flight with them yet.  My flight cost was always incorporated in with my vacation package, so I can imagine it was not a lot.

I have looked into booking with them to go to Amsterdam, and the price was lower than the other Canadian airlines going to the same destination.

MEALS

The meals on my flights with Air Transat were the usual north American meals offered: alfredo pasta and a beef and potato dish, bun, salad and piece of fudge or cookie.

You were offered a complimentary glass of champagne, juice, water, coffee and tea, and alcoholic beverages were available for purchase.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Again, amazing customer service with very pleasant and friendly staff, great selection of entertainment.  Headphones were offered for purchase though.

I have experienced very turbulent flights whilst flying with this airline (not the airline’s fault mind you, but the flight path needed to be taken), and the pilots did an amazing job of getting us out of any nerve-racking weather.

 

AVIANCA AIRLINE REVIEWS

 

The Flag carrier of Colombia, second largest in all of Latin America and the second oldest airline in the world, Avianca serves over 122 destinations with it’s fleet of 98 aircrafts.

I just have just recently flown with this airline, and after taking 4 wonderful flights with Avianca, it has become my #1 favorite airline to fly with.

 

 

PRICE

Either I landed a pretty sweet deal or the prices are just amazing with this airline, but I paid only $540USD to fly from Toronto to Lima, Peru return.

Considering it was over 9 hours of flying, I’ve paid close to that to fly a small fraction of the distance that I covered going to Peru when flying with different Canadian airlines.

MEALS

I found the meals to be decent for airplane food.  We were served the usual pasta or beef and potato dishes.  On the 5 hour flight, we were given heated up ham and cheese sandwiches.

The beverage chart came out with the meals and all alcoholic beverages were FREE!  Maybe I’m just a newbie to the whole “free-alcohol” service offered on different airlines, but it was amazing for me being that it was the first time I didn’t have to pay for a cervesa onboard.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

The customer service on this airline was hands-down amazing!  The flight attendants were very helpful when I couldn’t get the screen to work, they always brought us more drinks whenever we needed and offered blankets on our redeye flight.

The entertainment was superb.  There were T.V. shows, games for kids and adults and a huge list of new movies and music to choose from.

23 thoughts on “Flight Reviews

  1. Jagi

    I love your review of these airlines. Being a Canadian myself I know all about Air Canada and their issues. I find West Jet has much to offer in terms of what I’m paying to fly with them. I have not flown with Avianca yet, maybe it’s something I will have to keep in mind for our next trip.

    1. Nicki Post author

      Thanks Jagi! Yes, it’s truly sad how little Air Canada offers on domestic flights. I haven’t flown with them internationally yet, but I would hope they feed you on those flights.

      Westjet is a great alternative, also Porter. I haven’t flown with them yet, but I do book a lot of Porter flights for the lawyers I work for and I’ve heard that their delays are horrendous as well.

      Yes, definitely book with Avianca! I cannot say enough good things about that airline. If you ever travel south to Mexico, central or south America, I highly recommend them. You get more than your money’s worth!! 🙂

      Cheers!

  2. Michael

    This is a great site with a great idea to come up with travel hacks. I like the setup of the site and your content. You cover all the important things people want when traveling via airlines you also include your personal experiences. Would like to see the same content and information on more airlines. Great job!

    1. Nicki Post author

      Thank you Michael! Unfortunately I’ve only experienced those particular airlines and nothing from the U.S.A. quite yet, but I’m sure as my travel adventures continue there will be more to add to that list. I will be traveling on Cathay Pacific in October so I will write a review about them as well.

      Cheers!

  3. Cris

    Hello Brooklyn2008,
    That was a nice reviews of different Airline services. Just imagine how much information you are providing the viewers to read about these Airlines before buying ticket. I am too had flown several times to different places like Romania, Canada and several states inside the US but I didn’t have time to read a review about those Airlines. It’s good to know that you have a website like this. Next time before I peak an airline I would rather get some review first to read before buying the ticket probably that might help getting comfortable during the flight. Take care.

    1. Nicki Post author

      Thanks Cris! It really does help to know what you’re about to get yourself into when it comes to airlines. Especially since you are spending a number of hours up in the sky and putting your trust into that airline. I have heard horror stories from friends who have flown great distances on airlines with no entertainment or food offered for free, only water, juice and coffee/tea. I always like to know what to expect before boarding so I can know how to prepare before the flight.

      Thanks for your comment 🙂

  4. Antonis Christonasis

    Hello Brooklyn. Nice website you have here and glad you did such a comprehensive review on all those flight companies. I haven’t boarded an airplane ever, and feel it will be an interesting experience because i will travel to Vienna this August for the first time. Do you have any reviews on european companies as well? Would happy to check them out.

    1. Nicki Post author

      Thanks Antonis! I actually haven’t flown on any European airlines yet, but I am looking into doing some more reviews of other airlines as there have been a few people asking for reviews on different airlines. Thanks for the suggestion. Keep an eye out and I will let you know when I have that review completed 🙂

  5. Mary Williams

    You make me want to book a vacation! Nice website. Good job in comparing the airlines. Maybe a table with each airline and feature rated and then a tally would give a quick glance at the results. Also like the products featured on the sidebar. Can you share any info on cruises? Much success!

    1. Nicki Post author

      Thanks for your comment and the ideas Mary! A few people have asked for reviews on more airlines, so maybe I’ll format my next review in a table. I have a few cruise lines that I’m working on which should be completed very shortly.

      Happy traveling and book that trip 🙂

  6. Mel

    nice website, I personally haven’t been able to travel much but it’s good to know some of the information from your website. nicely put together. I like the layout of your website and the pictures are nice and standout. i think the wording from your own experience is showing that you’re an honest person so that will definitely help with your readers choices. well done 🙂

    1. Nicki Post author

      Thanks so much Mel! I’m happy you enjoyed it! I still have a lot to do, but it’s a work in progress. Baby steps. If you’re interested in travelling, I will have lots of tips soon on how to travel and where for cheap 🙂

  7. Kevin

    I have thought about taking a flight to Nova Scotia or taking a transcontinental train trip across Canada. Out of all of them, I think Air Canada is the only one I’ve heard of for Canadian flights. It’s too bad you didn’t have good experiences with them, but it’s good to know you have alternatives up there.

    1. Nicki Post author

      Hi Kevin! Westjet does offer a lot of flights across Canada as well to most locations. I hope that you do end up going for your trans-continental train trip. I’ve heard that it’s absolutely stunning!

      Alternatively, Air Transat does off flights across Canada as well, but they are seasonal I believe. Same with Sunwing.

      Unfortunately, we do not have a lot of airlines here, but the ones we do have do fly to every major city and airport!

      Thanks for your comment!

      Cheers

      Nicki

  8. Cathy

    I’ve only flown with WestJet once and this was back in 2006 when I was still in college. It was a good experience. After that, I’ve seen a couple of advertisement by WestJet on YouTube and was pretty awed at the things that they do for the community.

    Especially their Christmas surprises. It makes me smile to see the things that they do as a corporate company to make people happy.

    1. Nicki Post author

      hi Cathy! Yes, I totally agree. I have seen some pretty awesome Christmas giveaways with Air Canada as well. Thank you for reminding me of all the good things these airlines do for Canadians as a community. Sometimes it’s always easier to look at the negatives when there are also a lot of positives!! 🙂

  9. Kevin

    Hey Nicki
    I loved this post. It was well written and very informative. You get straight to the point and give good information even when you have had limited exposure to a certain carrier. I know many people will get great use from this post and your site in general. Keep up the good writings and happy traveling.
    Kevin

    1. Nicki Post author

      Thanks so much for this Kevin! I will be adding more to my list as I go on and experience more airlines. As a traveller, I think it’s helpful to know what to expect on different airlines so you can prepare beforehand for your flights.

      Cheers

      Nicki

  10. Chris

    Hi

    Great information on some of the decent preferred airlines.

    I myself have flown Air Canada on several occasions to get from Sydney to Vancouver, and have never had any issues. The fact that this is a direct flight, is always great to avoid long stops in the USA.
    The service and entertainment on the flight has always been fantastic, with a lot of movies to choose from and a few meals. You might of had some bad luck, or maybe their internationals flights are a step up.

    I look forward to some of your future posts.

    Cheers

    1. Nicki Post author

      Oh sounds like you’re one of the lucky ones ….or, I was one of the unfortunate ones!! lol yes, Air Canada isn’t all that bad, but I think you’re right with your thoughts that the international flights are better than the domestic flights.

      I was actually looking at booking that flight to Australia that you went on when I was going down under. I ended up booking with Cathay Pacific and flying direct from Toronto to Hong Kong and then Hong Kong to Brisbane. It was a long journey but neat that I got to see Hong Kong for half a day!

      Cheers

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